War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0667 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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I regret to hear of your feeble health, and will endeavor to relieve you from the burdens imposed upon you as soon as possible. In the mean while, if you should find yourself physically unable to exercise the command, you will turn it over to General Williams. Acknowledge by telegraph the receipt of your order.

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., October 16, 1862.

General R. E. LEE,

(Care Commanding Officer,) Winchester, Va.:

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General Loring has been relieved from his command and ordered to report here. Recommend a commander for his forces. They are temporarily under General Echols, with General Williams as second in command. Can you give General Loring employment?

G. W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Camp near Winchester, Va., October 16, 1862.

Major General W. W. LORING,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have received to-day your letter of the 7th instant.* As stated in my letter of yesterday, I must defer your proposed movement to your own judgment. When I wrote to you on September 25, I had heard that you were moving into Northwestern Virginia, and the plan I then suggested to you I supposed could be accomplished without any great interference from the enemy. I had learned that the enemy had withdrawn from Northwestern Virginia, and was not aware of the force which you report to be at Point Pleasant, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, &c. The route you propose by Monterey to the railroad at Cheat River,&c., is better, and if you think your advance in that direction will prevent the enemy from making any attack upon our salt works, I still think it advantageous. You must, however, view my letter of September 25 us a suggestion, and not as an order, as you seem to regard it, and to be modified or abandoned as your judgment may dictate. If you are obliged to abandon the Kanawha Valley, and think the State troops would be able to guard the railroad and salt works until your return, the destruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the manner you propose will be a brilliant termination of your campaign. The season is now so far advanced, and the condition of things so changed since my letter of September 25, that I do not recommend your advance to the Potomac merely with a view to co-operate with any movement of this army, but think it better that you should arrange your plans to accomplish the good within your own reach, without reference to a junction with me, as circumstances may arise to draw this army in another direction before you could reach the Potomac; nor do I wish you to lose sight of the safety of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and the salt works. Colonel Imboden, with about 1,200 or 1,500 men, is operating in Hardy and Hampshire Counties, and will remain in that region

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*None to Lee of that date found; but see Loring to Randolph, p.655.

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